Can you recall a time when your child whined and told you he did not want to do something you asked him to do? Did you tell him to have a better attitude? Me, too. When I told him this, I realized that I need to remember to apply this to myself, too. Do I whine and complain out loud or to myself when I need to do something I don’t want to do? Sometimes. Too often. I have come to realize that a positive attitude is the key to unlocking the results I want and the key to setting a better example for our children. Being mindful of my attitude is very important for me to do.
Why attitude is the key.
Do you know people who are always speaking gloom and doom? When you ask them how they are, you brace yourself for a list of complaints and problems? You may not even have to ask–they just complain and complain and complain. Sometimes it even seems like they bring more negativity upon themselves with their negative attitudes. I do not want to be one of those people! (If you hide from me the next time I see you, I’ll know if I am…)
When we have a negative attitude in general, we tend to keep our focus on the negative things in our lives; it is like we have a magnet attuned to negativity. This only serves to reinforce our negative attitude. We find things to prove to ourselves that things or people in our lives are awful. When we do this, we also tend to accept negative situations in our lives and not try to make things better.
When we have a positive attitude, we tend to focus on the positive things in our lives and show gratitude to God for what He has done for us. When we experience adversity, we look at what we can do to make things better. We tend to be more cheerful, too.
For me, this all boils down to this: do I want to spend my life complaining and being negative, or do I want to spend my life being hopeful and positive?
Having a positive attitude is the key to unlock how I want my life to be.
Develop a positive attitude.
One way can work to develop a good attitude is to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Here are some ideas to help develop and maintain a good attitude:
- Begin your day by offering it to God. Thank Him for the gift of your life and ask Him to help you to live your day well and with a greatful heart.
- Keep a gratitude journal: Each day write down one or more things you are greatful for.
- Each day take the time to think about a joy you have experienced. I can be simple, like seeing a rose bloom or spending time reading.
- Create joy in your day. Plan for it. Put it on your to-do list. Make it happen.
- Pray. Talk to God and share your thoughts, joys, and concerns with Him.
- Give thanks to God.
- Ask God to help you have a positive attitude every day.
- Work to be more positive in your thoughts and in your words.
- Each day, look someone in the eye and give him or her a sincere compliment.
- Tell someone in your life how much you love him or her.
Having a good attitude means I need to be attentive to my thoughts as well as my words. The words I say to myself in my thoughts are just as powerful as the words I say out loud, so I need to be aware of my thoughts and work to change them to be more positive as well.
Squash a bad attitude.
Just the other day our youngest teenager was giving me a bad attitude. I was so tempted to lash out at him. The words to criticize the way he was behaving to me were in my mouth, just waiting to get out. Instead of letting loose those words, I stepped up to our son, put my arm around him, and gave him a kiss on his head. Then I turned and walked away.
Our youngest son started laughing. He told me I should have seen the look on our other son’s face when I did that. It was not at all the reaction he expected me to have in that situation. My reaction stopped his negative attitude.
What ideas can I put into practice to squash a bad attitude for myself? Here are some ideas:
- Say “Stop” out loud when you realize that your thoughts are going in a negative direction.
- Find some affirming passages from the Bible to memorize. Say them as often as necessary to help you conquer a negative attitude.
- Change your posture. If you are sitting, stand up. If you are standing still, walk away from where you were.
- Say out loud or in your thoughts five things you are greatful for.
- Pray for a change in your attitude.
- Pray for a change in the situation that you are thinking negatively about.
- Talk to God; pour out my worries and negative thoughts to Him.
- Stop and take a few moments and write a list of what you are greatful for.
- Take a walk outside or engage in an exercise you enjoy.
- Eat right.
- Sleep. Take a nap if you can or go to bed early.
I am an adult, right? So, I should act like one. Keeping my temper and my words in check are not only good for me (and means I’m not planning to go to confession as much), but it is good for our kids. If I lose my temper and yell, throw things, or say hurtful things to others, our kids think that this is the way they should act if they are frustrated or upset.
If I do my best to remain calm, find constructive ways to deal with anger, and watch my words carefully (I know-easier said than done!) I set a good example for our kids and I show them how to deal well with adverse situations.
So, on a day when I am not frustrated, I should think about how I want my kids to react in a negative situation. Do I want them to throw things or talk with words of gloom and doom: “I’ll never… I can’t… It’s no use… You never…” or do I want them to stay composed and try to be positive: “I’ll try again… Well, that didn’t work… I’ll get better with practice… I need to decide how I can handle this.” However I want my kids to act is the behavior I need to model for them.
Our kids are always watching us, (whether they admit it or not). They learn from us. They copy us. I need to set a good example for them. This will not only show them how to behave well, but it will give them tools they can use to apply to their own lives.
My attitude is key.
My attitude is the key to unlocking the way I want my life to be.
By my example, my positive attitude is also a key I can share with our children for them to use in their lives so they can live the lives they were meant to live and live them joyfully.